Day 2 of my Work in Progress Week is exactly what the title says: a San Francisco sunset. This is taken from Nob's Hill on the first leg of my West Coast Adventure this summer. San Francisco is a beautiful place, even in the hustle and bustle of the city; add the orange glow of the sun setting and you're guaranteed to capture something beautiful.
I know it's been awhile since I posted anything new. The truth is I have been really busy! I enlisted the help of a photo instructor to push me to the next level, technically and artistically, so I have been working really hard and learning A LOT. I've also done a bit of traveling, which means there are lots of new pics coming your way. Since I am learning all sorts of new editing tricks as well, the process is a lot more involved and it takes longer now for me to edit even one photo. I know with practice and time, the process will become easier and more second nature, but until then, please bear with me as the site is officially a "work in progress." That said, I wanted to show a little bit of what I have been up to lately, so every day this week, I will show one of my newer pics with a brief description.
Up first is this shot taken at Mono Lake in CA. It was about 100 degrees (no joke) and the sun was about as bright as it could be, which proved a bit of a challenge setting up this shot, but I think I was able to capture the true feel of the place even over-bathed in light; its pretty amazing actually. These structures called "tufa" which look like sandcastles, are all over the place and, I think, resemble ruins from some kind of ancient, salty, limestone-y world. VERY COOL. If you are ever in Eastern CA, check this place out. You will not be disappointed!
Boston is my home. I was born here, grew up here, and after a brief 6 years away, came back, because I knew in my heart that I belonged here. Today my heart is sad for Boston, for my family, my friends, and especially for the victims of the Marathon bombings and their families. By now, everyone knows what happened at the finish line of the most prestigious marathon in the world. By now, we know there are over 100 injured and at least 3 dead, including an 8-year-old child. By now, we've seen the images of the tragedy: the smoke in the air, the blood on the sidewalks, people running scared, and S.W.A.T. cars trolling the streets. This is not what was supposed to happen; this is not what Boston was supposed to look like on one of its most anticipated and celebrated days of the year. But it did happen. And those streets are stained with innocent blood. And it's a tragedy.
Tonight, rather than focusing on my fear or anger, or looking for someone to blame, I am going to focus all my energy on sending out as much LOVE as I can to the people hurt and affected by today's events and to the first responders and good samaritans who did everything they could to help. There's plenty of time to feel all of those other things, and I know I will feel them on other days, but tonight, I am putting my arms around my city because it's what my city needs.
I took these pictures last summer on a weekday afternoon. I was on my way home from work on my regular route and I decided to stop and pull into one of the lots I pass every day. It was on the water, so I figured it would be fun to explore. What I found was something pretty cool- a nautical scene reminiscent of a shipwreck out of a pirate movie (sidebar: I love pirates). Granted there was no actual ship present, but the way the old fence was distorted and covered in seaweed, it reminded me of a shipwreck, so I decided to photograph it as such. I love the lighting and the colors that came through and I always love anything nautical. This was a simple shoot right in my back yard, but one I find very beautiful all the same. That's the thing I love about art. It doesn't have to be complicated to be enjoyable and you don't have to go very far to find it; you just have to be willing to see the beauty in everything around you :) TO ENJOY THE BEAUTY OF THIS SHOOT, CLICK HERE!
After my experience photographing the old Medfield State Hospital last year, I became very intrigued with abandoned buildings and the stories held within the crumbling walls and grounds. It also made me feel a sort of obligation to make sure that the history, no matter how horrific, and the people who were forced to live there are never forgotten. Last weekend, a friend and I drove out to western Massachusetts to check out the Belchertown State School "for the feeble-minded" and see if what we heard was true- that it was haunted. I should give some background on the "school", which actually had nothing at all to do with education or learning. The difference between these types of schools and an asylum is that they were for those who were deemed "mentally defective" as opposed to mentally ill. Mental deficiency was the term used to describe mentally and physically disabled people at the time the school opened back in 1922, which is the reason I use it here. Also, this school admitted children, many of whom would spend their entire lives locked away or strapped to beds here.
To the outside world, the school and staff at the Belchertown School were legitimate, taking care of the patients left within their care. People sent their children here, unaware of the harsh conditions and the inhumane treatment waiting for them behind closed doors. The school operated without any issues or questions from the outside until the 1970's, when a newspaper article brought to light the horrendous treatment of the patients and the decrepid state of the school. It was finally closed down in 1992, after several lawsuits and 70 years of harm done to innocent people. I will spare the details of the lawsuits and the treatment of the patients, as I don't think it is appropriate for me to share here.
Needless to say, it is terrible to think about the horrors these people had to endure and the fact that people in the medical field would ever think it was okay to hurt the people they took an oath to protect. I am continuously blown away by the way we treated and at times continue to treat each other because of ignorance.
Back to present day- I was expecting that the place would feel creepy and unsettling when we got there and I was right. It was quite chilly with a dusting of snow on the ground, but we were determined to explore, hoping to get into one of the buildings and see for ourselves what was left behind. We explored the grounds for about an hour and a half and, as you will see in the accompanying gallery, we found a few buildings with open doors and we did bravely venture in, though not all the way, as it was very dark down the hallways and super creepy. We wandered to one of the further corners of the property and heard lots of noises coming from one of the other empty buildings, but were not willing to head in even though we saw the door ajar. The sun was going down and the full moon- yes I said full moon- was rising, so we decided we would check out that particular building next time in daylight...and preferably with a few other people. We followed the moonlight back to my car and knew that something was definitely going on there. It wasn't until later that night when I checked out my photos, that I realized how interesting this shoot really was.
A few days ago, I posted a picture of my friend looking into an open building. I posed the question "What's he looking at?" Well, that photo was taken in Belchertown and if you check out the rest of the gallery, you will see exactly what showed up in my photo taken through that cutout...it's strange because I used no flash and there was no glass in the window to reflect anything. Also, curious- it only showed up in 2 of the pictures I took in a matter of minutes in the same exact space. You can decide for yourself what you think you see. Personally, I have no idea, but it's interesting nonetheless.